Blasts heard as French gunman siege enters second day

Nghe thấy nhiều tiếng nổ to khi vụ bao vây kẻ xả súng giết người 
tại Pháp bước qua ngày thứ hai
blast cơn gió tạt mạnh; tiếng nổ mạnh dữ dội; vụ nổ bom, mình; sự chỉ trích dữ dội, như tát nước
  undated không đề ngày
  non-datelined không ghi ngày giờ – nơi chốn //without date and place markings
  siege cuộc bao vây; bố ráp
  gunshots tiếng súng nổ //gunfire
  dawn bình minh, lúc trời vừa sáng; sáng tinh mơ,
An undated and non-datelined frame (khung hình) grab from a video broadcast March 21, 2012 by French national television station France 2, who they claim to show Mohamed Merah, the suspect in the killing of three paratroopers, three children and a rabbi in recent days in France.





TOULOUSE, France — French police tried to flush out (đẩy ra khỏi  nơi ẩn náu, drive out) a 24-year-old gunman suspected of killing seven people in the name of al-Qaida, with explosions and gunfire heard outside his apartment on the second day of a siege in the southern French city of Toulouse.

In a drama (vụ việc đầy bi kịch) gripping (thu hút sự chú ý) France five weeks before a presidential election, some 300 police have laid siege (tổ chức bao vây) since Wednesday to the five-storey house in a suburb of the prosperous industrial town in a bid  (trong một nỗ lực) to capture (bắt giữ) the shooter, Mohamed Merah.

The French citizen of Algerian origin (gốc Algiêri) told negotiators (những nhà thương lượng) he had killed three soldiers last week and four people at a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday to avenge (trả thù cho) the deaths of Palestinian children and because of French army involvement in Afghanistan.

France’s elite RAID commando unit (đơn vị biệt động RAID tinh nhuệ) detonated three explosions just before midnight on Wednesday, flattening the main door of the building and blowing a hole (làm thủng một lỗ) in the wall, after it became clear Merah did not mean to keep a promise to turn himself in (nộp mình, đầu hàng).

“These were moves to intimidate the gunman who seems to have changed his mind and does not want to surrender,” ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told Reuters.

Another explosion and several gunshots (tiếng súng nổ, gunfire) were heard in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Merah, who authorities say has a weapons cache (chỗ cất giấu vũ khí) in the apartment including an Uzi and a Kalashnikov assault rifle (súng trường tấn công), wounded two officers when in the early morning raid.

“What we want is to capture him alive (bắt sống), so that we can bring him to justice, know his motivations (nắm rõ động cơ ) and hopefully find out who were his accomplices (đồng phạm), if there were any,” Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said on TF1 television.

Thomas Withington at London’s Centre for Defence Studies said police might wait until just before dawn (bình minh, lúc sáng tinh mơ) before launching an assault after throwing a stun grenade (lựu đạn gây ngất) into the house.

“What complicates things is that they want to take him alive. They want to wait until he gets very tired,” he said.

Merah, who has told police negotiators he had accepted a mission from al-Qaida after receiving training in the lawless border area of Pakistan, had already identified another soldier and two police officers he wished to kill, investigators said.

“He has no regrets, except not having more time to kill more people and he boasts that he has brought France to its knees (làm .. phải quỳ gối),” Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins, part of the anti-terrorist unit leading the investigation, told a news conference.

The gunman negotiated with police all Wednesday, promising to give himself up (không tiếp tục chống cự) and saying that he did not want to die.

“He’s explained that he’s not suicidal, he doesn’t have the soul of a martyr (tử vì đạo) and he prefers to kill but to stay alive himself,” the prosecutor said.

At a ceremony in an army barracks in Montauban, near Toulouse, President Nicolas Sarkozy paid tribute (viếng chào tỏ lòng tôn kính) on Wednesday to the three soldiers of North African origin killed last week.

“This man wanted to bring the Republic to its knees. The Republic did not give in, the Republic did not back down,” he said, standing before three coffins draped in the French flag.

Sarkozy’s call for unity came after far-right leader Marine Le Pen, a rival presidential candidate, said France should pursue war on Islamic fundamentalism. (chủ nghĩa hồi giáo cực đoan)

But leaders of the Jewish and Muslim communities said the gunman was a lone extremist (một kẻ cực đoan riêng lẻ) and also called for calm and unity.

Sarkozy’s handling of the crisis (cách xử lý tình huống khủng hoảng) could be a decisive factor in determining how the French people vote in the two-round presidential elections in April and May.

Immigration and Islam have been major campaign themes after Sarkozy tried to win over supporters of  (tranh thủ lá phiếu của những người ủng hộ ..) Le Pen, who accused the government of underestimating the threat (không đánh giá đúng hiểm họa) from fundamentalism.

France’s military presence in Afghanistan has divided the two main candidates in the election. Opposition Socialist party leader Francois Hollande, who leads (vượt dẫn) Sarkozy in polls for the crucial May 6 run-off vote (cuộc bỏ phiếu lần 2), has said he will pull troops out by the end of this year while Sarkozy aims for the end of 2013.

The raid came just three days after the school attack and followed an unprecedented manhunt (cuộc truy lùng; truy nã) by French security forces.

Merah’s lawyer Christian Etelin, who has defended him in several minor crimes, said that his client had a tendency toward violence that had worsened after a stay in prison and trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“There was his religious engagement, an increasing hatred against the values of a democratic society and a desire to impose what he believes is truth,” Etelin told France 2 television.

© Copyright (c) Reuters

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